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Volume 5 | Issue 3 | Summer 2018

Minister's Message

Hon. Melanie Mark Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Welcome back to the start of an exciting new school year. I hope everyone had a great summer.

With the new Labour Market Outlook 2018 fresh off the press (August 2018), as the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST)—I’m looking forward to hearing more feedback from stakeholders about ‘how’ our government plans to support apprentices. As Minister of AEST, I am deeply passionate about the skilled trades and appreciative of all the tradespeople who are

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Welcome back to the start of an exciting new school year. I hope everyone had a great summer.

With the new Labour Market Outlook 2018 fresh off the press (August 2018), as the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST)—I’m looking forward to hearing more feedback from stakeholders about ‘how’ our government plans to support apprentices. As Minister of AEST, I am deeply passionate about the skilled trades and appreciative of all the tradespeople who are building our beautiful province. Supporting apprentices requires leadership and laser sharp focus to drive a prosperous and sustainable economy.

One of the ways our government is helping apprentices to build communities is by investing in capital infrastructure and ensuring a portion of the hours our Red Seal tradespeople work are dedicated and performed by apprentices.

Our government took a new approach. We worked with industry, employers, Indigenous leaders and unions to determine an overall apprentice work-hour ratio of 25% over three years on government-funded construction projects, valued at $15 million or more. This new approach works in tandem with the recently announced Community Benefits Agreement, a collective agreement that will help increase the number of apprentices to build a 21st century workforce.

The ratio will maximize government spending on provincial infrastructure and create more opportunities in the trades for Indigenous people, women and young people.

Hiring local, means supporting local economies and families while building thriving communities throughout the province.

Trades occupations like Plumbers, Carpenters, Electricians and Welders will be in high demand on a wide range of worksites, from construction to manufacturing to natural resources and technology. By 2028 approximately 71,000 jobs in the trades are forecasted for our beautiful province.

This is an exciting time for anyone considering training for a rewarding career in the trades.

A big shout out to all of our trades training providers and employers who are helping student apprentices become the next generation of builders, innovators, and leaders. Together, we are building up British Columbians as we build the best BC.

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CEO Message

Working in the Skilled Trades is a Valued Career Choice

Now is the time to pursue a career in BC’s skilled trades. The provincial government recently announced that more opportunities will be created over the next three years for apprentices to work on government-funded construction projects. In addition, Indigenous peoples, women and other traditionally under-represented groups will now be given priority access to employment and training opportunities.

Everything we do at ITA works towards creating a world-class training and apprenticeship system for

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Working in the Skilled Trades is a Valued Career Choice

Now is the time to pursue a career in BC’s skilled trades. The provincial government recently announced that more opportunities will be created over the next three years for apprentices to work on government-funded construction projects. In addition, Indigenous peoples, women and other traditionally under-represented groups will now be given priority access to employment and training opportunities.

Everything we do at ITA works towards creating a world-class training and apprenticeship system for British Columbians. From awarding school districts across the province with ITA’s Youth Performance Awards in recognition of their commitment to training youth apprentices, to highlighting the valuable contributions and successes of Indigenous peoples who are working in trades on National Indigenous Peoples Day—we value everyone involved in BC’s skilled trades because they build and maintain the communities in which we thrive. Let’s continue building BC, together.

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Women in Trades Training

Nikki Gaulton is a Steamfitter at the University of British Columbia.

Steamfitting: How One Woman Found Her Fit

A growing number of women are enrolling in trades training courses, and the future of trades is beginning to look more diverse and inclusive. Take Nikki Gaulton, for example: after completing her apprenticeship, Nikki was hired on as a journey-level Steamfitter at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Building Operations. Nikki was first exposed to skilled trades when a friend invited her to help install drywall, which inspired her to enroll in a trades foundation program where she gained a wide range of piping trades experience. She was later hired on at UBC as an apprentice and

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Steamfitting: How One Woman Found Her Fit

A growing number of women are enrolling in trades training courses, and the future of trades is beginning to look more diverse and inclusive. Take Nikki Gaulton, for example: after completing her apprenticeship, Nikki was hired on as a journey-level Steamfitter at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Building Operations. Nikki was first exposed to skilled trades when a friend invited her to help install drywall, which inspired her to enroll in a trades foundation program where she gained a wide range of piping trades experience. She was later hired on at UBC as an apprentice and hasn’t looked back since!

Entering a male-dominated industry never concerned Nikki—in her eyes, it’s all about creativity. “As a woman, I’m able to bring a different perspective, different ways of working and new approaches,” says Nikki. As the trades landscape continues to evolve, Nikki reminds us why diversity should not only be welcomed but celebrated too. “Diversity is only going to make the world better,” says Nikki. “The balance of women and men in a workplace opens interesting opportunities to solve things in new ways.”

Learn more about ITA’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program, and the opportunities available in BC for women apprentices like Nikki Gaulton.

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Women in Trades Training

Girls Can Go-Kart Too! campers show off their go-kart creations on race day.

Early Exposure to Trades Empowers Women to Take Charge

For women who want to pursue a rewarding career with opportunity for growth and success, the skilled trades offer endless possibilities. To help ensure that trades are on women’s radar and that women feel empowered to explore the potential of a career in trades, education and early industry exposure are key.

This summer, Okanagan College and ITA piloted Girls Can Go-Kart Too!, a camp designed to introduce girls to the skilled trades. The week-long camp gave

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Early Exposure to Trades Empowers Women to Take Charge

For women who want to pursue a rewarding career with opportunity for growth and success, the skilled trades offer endless possibilities. To help ensure that trades are on women’s radar and that women feel empowered to explore the potential of a career in trades, education and early industry exposure are key.

This summer, Okanagan College and ITA piloted Girls Can Go-Kart Too!, a camp designed to introduce girls to the skilled trades. The week-long camp gave young girls aged 9 to 12 the opportunity to test drive a career in trades by building and racing their own go-karts. The girls received hands-on training from Red Seal instructors, working on small engines, replacing tires, fixing brakes, learning oil changing techniques and even designing their own race course.

School District 75 and Riverside College also partnered up in Mission to host Girls of All Trades, a week-long all-girls day camp for middle school-aged students. The camp took place at the Mission Secondary School with a Red Seal instructor. Sixteen girls were given hands-on experience in metal working, including welding. These camps provide girls the opportunity to explore their own interests in a safe and comfortable environment.

Learn more about ITA’s Youth Discover the Trades programs, and the opportunities available to inspire young students to get involved in skilled trades.

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Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples in Trades

In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st, we shared a variety of inspiring stories of Indigenous peoples working in the skilled trades. These individuals play a valuable role in building and maintaining our communities throughout BC. A few of them are profiled here.

Chelsea Barron is a member of the Tsilhqot'in (Chilcotin) Nation which means "People of the River" and is registered with the Anaham band (Tl'etinqox) which is part of the Tsilhqot'in Nation. Through hard work and perseverance, Chelsea received her Red Seal

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Celebrating Indigenous Peoples in Trades

In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st, we shared a variety of inspiring stories of Indigenous peoples working in the skilled trades. These individuals play a valuable role in building and maintaining our communities throughout BC. A few of them are profiled here.

Chelsea Barron is a member of the Tsilhqot'in (Chilcotin) Nation which means "People of the River" and is registered with the Anaham band (Tl'etinqox) which is part of the Tsilhqot'in Nation. Through hard work and perseverance, Chelsea received her Red Seal certification as a Machinist, and now she works at Raute Canada. Chelsea attributes her resilience and strength to her grandmother, who experienced years of discrimination and oppression as a First Nations woman at a residential school. “Her opportunities were very limited, and as a result I am very grateful for the doors that have been opened for me,” says Chelsea. Whenever Chelsea encounters a new challenge, her grandmother serves as her inspiration.

Destyni Basil is a Heavy-Duty Mechanic from Yaqan Nukiy near Creston, BC. She’s a devoted mother who works hard to create a promising future for her daughter. Throughout her trades journey, Destyni continues to surprise herself by doing things she never thought possible. “When you’ve accomplished a lot, it’s such an amazing feeling,” she says. Destyni is working towards attaining her Red Seal certification, and knows that wherever it takes her, she’ll love every minute of it.

Raven McMahon is a proud member of the Gitxaala First Nation, a Red Seal Plumber and a single mother of two. She knew at an early age that she loved working with her hands, so when she found a career in the skilled trades, she was beyond thrilled. Raven embraces the challenges she encounters on a daily basis, and urges others to remember “dreams can come true when you work hard to get there.” One day, Raven plans to open her own company, and every day on the job she takes another step on her journey to make this a reality.

Learn more about ITA’s Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training (IPTT) program, and the resources available for Indigenous tradespeople across the province.

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Youth Initiatives

ITA presents the Youth Performance Award to apprentices, employers and students in the Cowichan Valley School District.

Giving Schools an A+ in Trades Training

Apprentices, employers, educators, and ITA representatives came together over the past few months to award eight school districts across British Columbia with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award.

The award recognizes school districts for encouraging students to pursue careers in the skilled trades through ITA's Youth Work in Trades, a dual-credit program that allows students to begin the paid, work-based training component of an apprenticeship while still in secondary school. Each school district presented with the

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Giving Schools an A+ in Trades Training

Apprentices, employers, educators, and ITA representatives came together over the past few months to award eight school districts across British Columbia with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award.

The award recognizes school districts for encouraging students to pursue careers in the skilled trades through ITA's Youth Work in Trades, a dual-credit program that allows students to begin the paid, work-based training component of an apprenticeship while still in secondary school. Each school district presented with the award is considered a top-performer in supporting trades work experience within their region. The award includes $5,000 in additional funding to assist each school district with the development of their ITA Youth Work in Trades programs.

Learn more about the different ITA Youth Trades Programs and get a head start at a fulfilling career in the trades.

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Youth Initiatives

Woodworking students from the Chilliwack School District use a new thickness planer.

Funding Brings Innovative Technology to Trades Classrooms Across BC

BC secondary school trades teachers and students were thrilled to learn about a funding announcement that would equip their classrooms with the latest and greatest in new technology. The $3.5 million investment was announced by ITA and the BC government to fund ITA Youth Trades Programs across the province in 2018/19 as part of the Youth Trades Capital Funding Program.

The funding enables schools to upgrade their trades classrooms or workshops with the purchase of new tools and equipment, ranging from safety technology to mobile

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Funding Brings Innovative Technology to Trades Classrooms Across BC

BC secondary school trades teachers and students were thrilled to learn about a funding announcement that would equip their classrooms with the latest and greatest in new technology. The $3.5 million investment was announced by ITA and the BC government to fund ITA Youth Trades Programs across the province in 2018/19 as part of the Youth Trades Capital Funding Program.

The funding enables schools to upgrade their trades classrooms or workshops with the purchase of new tools and equipment, ranging from safety technology to mobile training units outfitted with tools to reach remote districts. This upgrade allows students to learn the latest technology and sets them up for successful careers in the skilled trades.

This marks the final year of the program which began in 2016 as a $15 million investment to be awarded to BC schools over three years. Since then, $11.5 million has already been invested, with the remainder of the funding to be distributed to 59 school districts in 2018/19.

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Youth Initiatives

Teachers gain valuable hands-on experience to take back to their classrooms.

Teachers Take Summer School to Brush Up on Trades Skills

Twenty-three teachers from school districts across BC, including two First Nations schools and one independent school, were in class this summer at BCIT for the ITA Youth Explore Trades Skills Workshop. This was the second annual session, where teachers got hands-on experience with plumbing, electrical, and carpentry to take back to their classrooms for the Youth Explore Trades Skills program.

"It's great to be a student again and to learn how to teach the Skills program," says Craig McDonald, Technology Education Instructor, Fleetwood Park Secondary School

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Teachers Take Summer School to Brush Up on Trades Skills

Twenty-three teachers from school districts across BC, including two First Nations schools and one independent school, were in class this summer at BCIT for the ITA Youth Explore Trades Skills Workshop. This was the second annual session, where teachers got hands-on experience with plumbing, electrical, and carpentry to take back to their classrooms for the Youth Explore Trades Skills program.

"It's great to be a student again and to learn how to teach the Skills program," says Craig McDonald, Technology Education Instructor, Fleetwood Park Secondary School. Teachers paired up and built small mock-up structures that required framing, plumbing, and electrical work.

The Youth Explore Trades Skills Workshop is funded by ITA and hosted at the BCIT Burnaby campus.

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Employer Spotlight

Dustin Harkness started his apprenticeship in high school and has now worked his way up to Executive Chef with Whistler Cooks.

Commitment a Key Ingredient in Whistler Cooks’ Apprenticeship Success

Apprenticeship is built right into the backbone of Whistler Cooks. Dustin Harkness is the Red Seal Executive Chef at Whistler Cooks, and having gone through the apprenticeship pathway himself, he has no doubt that apprenticeships are an integral piece of building a reliable and loyal team in the kitchen.

With the strong support of Grant and Hilarie Cousar, owners of Whistler Cooks, Dustin is training his own apprentices and building a team that maintains the company standard of creating high quality food for their catering business, as well as their restaurant in Whistler Village

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Commitment a Key Ingredient in Whistler Cooks’ Apprenticeship Success

Apprenticeship is built right into the backbone of Whistler Cooks. Dustin Harkness is the Red Seal Executive Chef at Whistler Cooks, and having gone through the apprenticeship pathway himself, he has no doubt that apprenticeships are an integral piece of building a reliable and loyal team in the kitchen.

With the strong support of Grant and Hilarie Cousar, owners of Whistler Cooks, Dustin is training his own apprentices and building a team that maintains the company standard of creating high quality food for their catering business, as well as their restaurant in Whistler Village.

According to Grant, hiring and training apprentices takes time and effort “but it’s for a big, big gain and helping our industry move forward.”

Find out more about the benefits of apprenticeship from Whistler Cooks' viewpoint, and what it takes to become an employer sponsor.

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In The News

BC Wins Award for Bringing Innovative Creative Design Resources into Classrooms

It’s not always easy to engage students in a classroom setting. Educators are often tasked with finding new ways to make learning fun and meaningful—and “making” is one such technique that teachers are catching onto and realizing its benefits.

“Making” is a way to build creative solutions to design challenges. Through problem-solving and tinkering, students gain experience working in a collaborative environment and learning critical thinking skills.

Aware of the benefits of this technique, ITA, in collaboration with the BC Ministry of

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BC Wins Award for Bringing Innovative Creative Design Resources into Classrooms

It’s not always easy to engage students in a classroom setting. Educators are often tasked with finding new ways to make learning fun and meaningful—and “making” is one such technique that teachers are catching onto and realizing its benefits.

“Making” is a way to build creative solutions to design challenges. Through problem-solving and tinkering, students gain experience working in a collaborative environment and learning critical thinking skills.

Aware of the benefits of this technique, ITA, in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Education, the University of British Columbia (UBC) – Okanagan, Royal Roads University (RRU) and Open School BC (OSBC within the BC Ministry of Education), developed the “Taking Making into Classrooms” online resource to accompany the Taking Making into Classrooms Toolkit in an effort to find an innovative approach for teachers to more effectively bring “making” into the classroom.

We are proud to announce that the “Taking Making into Classrooms” online resource has won the award for Excellence and Innovation in the Integration of Technology in a Partnership or Collaboration through the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education-Le Réseau canadien pour l’innovation en éducation (CNIE-RCIÉ).

Thanks to this online resource, educators can more easily integrate “making” into the learning environment and provide students with programs to discover trades at an early age.

The "Taking Making into Classrooms" online resource can be accessed through OSBC's Open Course Resources site. Click on the “Professional Learning” tab and select "Taking Making into Classrooms".

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Info Boxes

BC Residents! Enjoy 10% Off Registration at the Supporting Women in Trades Conference

ITA is a proud partner of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s (CAF) first-ever Supporting Women in Trades Conference, taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on November 6th and 7th, 2018. Conference partners like ITA are committed to removing barriers and addressing the challenges that women in skilled trades face, and we welcome your support. In fact, to encourage your attendance, BC delegates can enjoy a 10 per cent discount on registration.

Find out more about the Supporting Women in Trades Conference and

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BC Residents! Enjoy 10% Off Registration at the Supporting Women in Trades Conference

ITA is a proud partner of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s (CAF) first-ever Supporting Women in Trades Conference, taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on November 6th and 7th, 2018. Conference partners like ITA are committed to removing barriers and addressing the challenges that women in skilled trades face, and we welcome your support. In fact, to encourage your attendance, BC delegates can enjoy a 10 per cent discount on registration.

Find out more about the Supporting Women in Trades Conference and register today.

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Info Boxes

Tools to Drive Change for Trades in BC

The BC Chamber of Commerce recently introduced a platform designed to drive positive change in BC’s business community called MindReaderTM. This new technology is a cloud-based platform that gathers near real-time insights directly from the business community across the province, weighing in on important topics that impact BC’s economy. By encouraging members to use their voices to represent their industry, MindReaderTM drives deeper insights to government so they can make the most informed decisions.

For more information, please visit

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Tools to Drive Change for Trades in BC

The BC Chamber of Commerce recently introduced a platform designed to drive positive change in BC’s business community called MindReaderTM. This new technology is a cloud-based platform that gathers near real-time insights directly from the business community across the province, weighing in on important topics that impact BC’s economy. By encouraging members to use their voices to represent their industry, MindReaderTM drives deeper insights to government so they can make the most informed decisions.

For more information, please visit Mind ReaderTM.

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Meet B.C.'s Champions of Apprenticeship

Today's youth have an array of career options to choose from, but they also face the perception that the skilled trades are not the most desirable career choice. In order to keep our construction and other skilled labour sectors robust and growing, we must be proactive in presenting the trades as a desirable career option for our youth.

Have your say

Trades Talk strives to report on the issues and challenges that matter to you. We want to hear your solutions, best practices and success stories. We would also appreciate your feedback on Trades Talk and any suggestions you have. Email your comments to tradestalk@itabc.ca.